Seasonal recipe: spiced pumpkin tart All posts

Spiced pumpkin tart, broad bean and basil pureé and caraway cabbage on a fondant potato

Pumpkins are given a new pizazz in this stunning vegetarian dish, a hit at the Wilderness Wood October candlelit dinner with Alistair McGowan. It now regularly features on the weekend Barn menu of locally sourced, seasonal  food cooked from scratch. We had to share it with you.


  • 125g/4oz unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 250g/8oz plain flour 1 beaten free-range egg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1½ tsp caster sugar

Filling:Wilderness Wood recipe for Spiced Pumpkin Pie

  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  •  Pinch cayenne pepper
  •  Pinch white pepper
  •  ½ tsp grated nutmeg
  •  ½ tsp ground tumeric
  •  1 tsp mustard seeds
  •  50g/2oz unsalted butter
  • 150g/5oz pumpkin seeds
  •  1 large pumpkin, peeled, seeds removed, cut into 1.5cm/½in cubes

Fondant potatoes:

  • 3 large potatoes
  • Olive oil
  •  sea salt and white pepper
  •  75g/3oz unsalted butter


  • 1 finely sliced small white cabbage
  •  knob of butter
  • 2 finely sliced onions
  • 1½ tsp caraway seeds

Broad bean purée:

  • 375g/13oz shelled broad beans
  • Juice of 1½ lemons
  • small bunch fresh basil
  • 125ml/4½fl crème fraîche
  • 1½ tsp mustard powder

Chive butter:

  • 75g/3oz unsalted butter
  • small bunch fresh chives, finely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

2. For the pastry: cream the egg, salt, caster sugar and butter with an electric hand whisk. Gradually draw in the flour with your hands until the mixture resembles rough breadcrumbs. Add 25ml/1fl oz water and bring the mixture together to form a smooth dough. Knead gently on a floured surface until smooth, making sure you don’t overwork the mix. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

3. For the filling: steam the chopped pumpkin for 10 minutes until tender, and set aside to cool. Meanwhile toast the fennel seeds and cumin seeds in a dry frying pan until fragrant, and then crush in a pestle and mortar until fine. Add to the rest of the spices in a large bowl, then mix with the steamed pumpkin until well combined. Heat the butter in a frying pan and fry in batches until lightly coloured. Set aside to cool.

4. Toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry frying pan until coloured. Once cooked, transfer the seeds to a bowl to stop them from cooking further. Add 50g/2oz of the toasted pumpkin seeds to a coffee grinder and blitz until a rough powder.

5. Roll three-quarters of the pastry until 3mm/⅛in thick and place it into the tart tin. Roll out the remaining pastry and cut into long, thin strips. Put the pumpkin, toasted pumpkin seeds and some of the ground pumpkin seed powder into the pastry case. Lattice the pastry strips on top, and finally sprinkle over with more pumpkin seed powder. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until golden-brown. Remove the tart from the tin after a few minutes out of the oven, and then leave to cool on a wire rack.

6. Meanwhile, make the fondant potatoes. Peel and trim each potato into two 5.5cm/2¼in cylindrical shapes from each potato using a pastry cutter. Heat a little olive oil in an ovenproof frying pan, and fry the potatoes over a medium heat until golden-brown on one side. Turn them over and add the butter, 300ml/10fl oz water and plenty of salt and white pepper. Transfer to the oven and cook for 15 minutes, or until soft.

7. For the cabbage: heat the butter in a saucepan and gently fry the sliced onion and caraway seeds for 2-3 minutes, cover with a circle of baking parchment and cook over a low heat until very soft. Meanwhile, steam the cabbage until tender, and once cooked, mix with the onions and season to taste with salt freshly ground black pepper.

8. For the broad bean purée: steam the broad beans for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly and remove the skins. Place the broad beans, lemon juice, crème fraîche, mustard powder, and basil into a food processor and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

9. Finally, make the chive butter. Clarify the butter by gently melting it in a heavy based saucepan and skimming off all the froth from the surface. You will then see a clear yellow layer on top of a milky layer beneath. Carefully pour the clear fat into a bowl or jug, leaving the milky residue in the pan. Discard the milky residue and add the clarified butter to the chives. Brush the warm tart with chive butter.

10. To serve, place a quenelle of broad bean and basil purée on a slice of tart, alongside a fondant potato topped with the cabbage.

About the Author:

This seasonal recipe was developed by the team at Wilderness Wood, a family-run award-winning 62-acre woodland in the beautiful Sussex Weald.

Try it and let us know what you think.

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